Elon Musk: Did Twitter Interfere with Brazil Election?
Twitter CEO Elon Musk believes the social media platform he purchased in October may have swayed Brazil’s 2022 presidential election in favor of leftwing candidates.
“I’ve seen a lot of concerning tweets about the recent Brazil election,” said Musk on Saturday. “If those tweets are accurate, it’s possible that Twitter personnel gave preference to leftwing candidates.”
Brazil’s election was held on October 30th, just days before Musk became CEO of Twitter (AKA “Chief Twit”) after purchasing the company for $44 billion. The election was a narrow victory for socialist candidate Inácio Lula da Silva, who defeated rightwing incumbent Jair Bolsonaro by less than a percentage point.
Both candidates relied heavily on Twitter during their campaigns.
Musk’s suspicions of foul play will no doubt be linked to what he calls the ‘Twitter Files’ – a collection of internal emails said to show employees censoring content at the behest of Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign.
The billionaire’s Saturday comment not only supports cries of fraud by Bolsonaro’s supporters but also invites questions regarding Twitter’s potential impact on recent elections in India, Israel, and Canada.
Musk voiced his concerns after a handful of Bolsonaro’s allies were suspended from Twitter following a November audit that revealed signs of “malfunction” that may have affected nearly 300,000 voting machines throughout the country.
Removing all votes from those machines produces a final score of 51% for Bolsonaro and 49% for Lula da Silva.
Bolsonaro, sometimes referred to as the “Trump of the Tropics,” hosted Musk in Sao Paulo earlier this year, during which he hailed the US billionaire as a “legend of liberty” and described his takeover of Twitter as a “breath of hope.”
Though contested, the results of the election were confirmed by Brazil’s Supreme Court and Lula da Silva is set to take control of the presidency on January 1st. Bolsonaro allies suspended from Twitter include: Congressional candidate Nikolas Ferreira, former Congressman Roberto Jefferson, women’s rights activist Sara Winter, and businessmen Edgar Corona, Luciano Hang, and Oscar Fakhoury.